You may have heard that Jimmy Albertson sustained a significant number of injuries at the tenth Monster Energy Supercross round, Daytona, but just how many issues is he dealing with currently?
The Suzuki pilot sustained a "fracture of the manubrium and body of the sternum (posteriorly displaced by 1cm), fractured T5 through T7 vertebrae, compression of the T4 through T6, epidural hematoma at T5 (epidural is the outermost part of the spinal canal), bilateral patchy lung contusions and a left metacarpal fracture," according to a statement on Road 2 Recovery.
Jimmy Albertson released another update in the middle of March, almost one month after his accident, that offered some insight. "I wanted to give everyone a quick update on my condition," he wrote on social media. "It's been almost three weeks since my crash in Daytona and physically I have been feeling stronger and in less pain every day. I saw the spine specialist in OKC yesterday and didn’t get the update that I was hoping for. I was told that I am going to need to have five vertebrae fused in my back, which will include having rods put in to make my spine stable for proper recovery.
"This news was quite crushing to me because I have been seeing improvement every day," he continued. "I guess after years of putting my body through the abuse that comes with racing professional SX and MX, you get use to just dealing with the pain and discomfort to get back to doing what you love. Right now, with the help from some friends and Road 2 Recovery, I’m searching out a second opinion to make sure this is the right step for myself to make a full recovery.
What does this mean for Albertson and his future in the sport? He addressed that. "As far as my future in racing hold, I’m trying not to make any decisions," he said. "The risk of injury is always something I have accepted my whole career and I understand that I am very lucky my injuries are not much worse. My goal right now is to make the right steps so I can some day ride without having the risk of injuring my spine being much greater than normal.
"I know that some people are probably reading this and thinking, “Why not just give riding up?" Riding and racing dirt bikes is part of who I am. It has led me to some many great opportunities in my life. Meeting my amazing wife being one of them," he continued. "A lot of things will probably unfold this next week and I will make sure to keep everyone up to date on the direction we are planning on going.
"Georgia and I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts, who has offered their help and support through this process. Road 2 Recovery has been incredible on being a support system for us. I’m not sure how much help we will be needing from them quite yet, but I can assure you that, if the help is not needed for my recovery, we are going to be donating our portion back to riders who are less fortunate with their recovery process. For now, take care and keep the rubber side down," he concluded.
Today, April 11th, Albertson released another update. "As you all know from the last update, I was looking into other options, instead of having to fuse five vertebrae," Albertson wrote. "After getting two other opinions, it confirmed that I had no other choice but to fuse it, due to the ligament damage and severity of the fractures.
"After talking with Dr. Melamed with the Disc MD Group in LA, he also agreed to the fusion but seemed genuinely concerned about my condition. He explained to me that I have a thirty-degree kyphosis – a hunch back basically in the thoracic part of my spine. He went on to explain that by having the rods and fusion done without the spinal alignment will have a terrible affect me in my quest to get back to living pain free. Not many surgeons are willing to do this surgery, because it does involve breaking the spine even more to correct it. That being said, the possibility of being in better spine health than even before the injury excites me.
"It is 5am PST currently and I’m on a plane. I’ve had a dozen operations done over the years, but this is the first time that I’ve been scared/nervous about going under. I know, deep down, that this is the right decision," he said before signing off.
Are you in a position to help one of the most likeable riders in the pits? You could click any of the R2R links above and donate on that page. If you are not able to do that, you could always leave a positive comment that'll boost morale.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden